The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

December 6, 2013

Monroe, Kingsville to dispatch with sheriff

MONROE TOWNSHIP — The Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Office will handle dispatch service for fire departments in Monroe and Kingsville townships in 2014, according to reports.

Trustees in both communities recently approved one-year, $5,800 contracts with the sheriff’s office. The cost is the same charged by Ashtabula Township, which last month announced it would cease fire dispatch in early 2014 for Monroe, Sheffield, Kingsville and Andover townships and North Kingsville, citing a cost-cutting move.

Ashtabula Township’s decision last month set off a scramble among the departments to find a replacement.

Earlier this week, Conneaut City Manager Tim Eggleston said he understood that Monroe was favoring the sheriff’s office and that North Kingsville may opt for Conneaut to handle its fire dispatch. Conneaut already provides police dispatching service for the village.

Kingsville Fire Chief Neal Stewart said township trustees approved a contract at Wednesday night’s meeting. “We’re moving with the sheriff,” he said.

The township will incur a small charge to adapt its electronic gear to the sheriff office’s equipment, said Stewart, who added he is grateful to Sheriff William Johnson for adding Kingsville to its dispatch roster.

“The sheriff did us very well,” he said. “He didn’t have to take us on, but he wasn’t going to let us hang. And he did it in a quick manner.”

John Griggs, a Monroe trustee, said he was relieved the dispatch situation has been resolved — at least for 2014.

“It’s like a ton of weight has been lifted off my shoulders,” he said. “It’s good to know the residents in Monroe will be covered.”

North Kingsville Mayor Terry McConnell said Thursday he is still gathering dispatch data.

“I’m still exploring options,” he said. “I will gather information and bring it to my council for their decision.”

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